Today you are 9.
Just around the time your sister turned 9, I read a blog by a mom who said 9 is the halfway point. Like at 9 we are halfway done with raising you, since presumably you'll leave at 18 to go on with your life.
I hate to tell you...that's so not true in this house. There's no way I'm letting you go in 9 years.
You will always be my favorite boy in the world. My buddy. The guy that shows me so much love!
These 9 years with you have been a joy. You are so much more than I could have imagined. I have to tell you I was a little nervous about having a boy.
While Dad was over-the-top ecstatic to have a boy, I was terrified. I wasn't sure I would know how to parent a boy or control a boy or relate to a boy.
Yes, you do have the energy of a boy that I expected. And you are funny and goofy and sometimes wild and gross. What I didn't expect was how loving and sweet little boys can be. From the day you were born you have been my buddy, my little partner. You were just so easy to have around...so fun and friendly and sweet.
You care so deeply about people and things. I didn't quite expect that. You are so generous with your love, your things, your money. Not many other kids would use their own money to buy books for another classmate and their teacher at the book fair. What other boy begs to go to the jewelry store to spend his own money on a bracelet for his teacher? I have so many little things you've made me, or bought for me. Giving is definitely your love language.
Yes, these past 9 years have been so much more than I could have imagined. I still think of you as my little boy. I have the best memories of us...just you and me...exploring Chicago while Julie was in school. Remember stuffing our faces at the Nutella bar and watching huge balls of mozzarella cheese being made in Eataly? We found the best tacos in a little Mexican restaurant in Pilsen--we scared Dad to death because that was not in a great part of Chicago. But the tacos were awesome! You were up for anything and so friendly to everyone. Those days were the best.
In many ways you are still my buddy, but I know you are changing. You call me Mom instead of Mommy. Actually I'm not even sure when you last called me Mommy. You aren't so eager to hold my hand anymore....though you'll still come in to snuggle in the mornings and you ask every night to read together and talk.
You'd rather spend your days with friends and you don't ask me to play like you used to. You've developed your own interests, which is so cool to see. You love Chess and Minecraft and "Saving the World" on some silly video game with your Dad. You are obsessed with jokes and riddles and you just started showing interest in The Beatles. You love Sushi and junk food and you have a sweet tooth almost bigger than your Papa.
I love seeing you grow into who you're meant to be. I just hope these next 9 years pass slowly because I'm so not ready to let you go.
Happy birthday my sweet boy. I love you so much!